Email: [email protected] TOMB HUNTER The Adventures of Larra Court Episode 1 Larra’s African Adventure Chapter 9 The Trap Larra whirled to meet her attackers. She was a little surprised at how ineptly they had sprung their trap. She had the bridge at her back and they could only approach her one on one. The first warrior moved toward her cautiously. It was obvious that he intended to take no chances. He had adopted the classic warrior stance, with his spear held high, ready for a quick thrust and his shield held before him to block any attack from his opponent. Larra knew that a standard attack in this form of combat was for the spearman to step forward quickly, block or knock aside his adversary’s spear with his shield and then step inside the spear-point to deliver a lethal blow to his opponent’s exposed body. Larra tried to delay the attack. “Have you so little courage that it takes five of you to defeat just one weak woman? Surely you will gain no fame or honour from your pursuit of a harmless visitor to your lands.” The tallest warrior replied: “It is you who have no honour, White Witch. You come uninvited to our lands and you use your magic to defeat our bravest warriors. You must be punished for your evil.” As he spoke the first warrior closed with Larra. The attack came as she expected, and she was ready for it. As the warrior lunged toward her, she shifted her spear to her left hand and then struck like a cobra with her nunchuka. The Japanese weapon wrapped itself around the shaft of the black warrior’s spear deflecting its point away from Larra and exposing the right side of the warrior’s torso. Larra’s own spear struck just under the black man’s exposed ribs, penetrating to the shaft. With a shriek of agony the impaled warrior jerked back with such force that he yanked the spear from Larra’s grasp. He staggered backwards, attempted to turn around and then collapsed in a lifeless heap. Now Larra was armed only with her rustic nunchuka, but she had one less opponent. She backed a little more onto the bridge, to give herself a better defensive position. “Four to go,” she thought confidently. First, however, Larra tried again to end the incident without further violence. “You are forcing me to kill. It is not my wish that so many brave warriors go to their deaths. If you insist on fighting me then you will all die.” Larra hoped that her blend of diplomacy and threats might dissuade further attacks, but her opponents seemed undeterred. The next warrior approached cautiously. Before him he saw a seemingly defenseless woman armed only with a pair of sticks connected by a shrot length of chain, but he had just seen that same woman kill a skilled warrior. This woman appeared to have much magic, and so it was with some trepidation that he closed with her. Feinting with his spear, he made as if to impale Larra on its sharp point, hoping to draw her into a vulnerable position. Larra stepped away from the spear thrust and the warrior struck hard with his shield, hoping to knock her off her feet, but Larra neatly sidestepped and swinging her nunchukas in a vicious arc, struck the warrior a devastating blow on the side of his head. Staggering from the unexpected riposte the black man fell to his knees, his shield and spear dropping. Quick to take advantage of the collapse of the man’s defenses, Larra charged forward and delivered a series of crushing blows to the head of her defenseless opponent. Blood pouring from his eyes, nose, and ears the black warrior sprawled lifelessly onto the bridge deck. Now there were three! Larra surveyed her remaining opponents. Each was a formidable opponent in his own right. Also, each was also much fresher than she was. Her exertions during the day and the concentration of her energy during the first two engagements had left her somewhat drained. In addition, she now felt a burning thirst, and she had no water. If the combat lasted too much longer she would be severely dehydrated. This time she did not waste her time or breath in an attempt to parlay. She doubted that she could persuade these men to give up their attempts to kill her. They seemed completely bent on her destruction. Two of the men were advancing on her. The third, a veritable giant of a man was hanging back, as if observing the combat. Larra readied herself for the attack. It appeared that the two warriors intended to attack her simultaneously. Larra stepped back farther onto the bridge. She doubted that both men would be able to come at her without interfering with one another. She swung her nunchuka menacingly as the first warrior stepped closer to her, with the second man only a step behind. Two spear-points were thrust toward her. Grasping the nunchuka with both hands, she caught the first spear-point with the connecting chain, and pulled hard, yanking the warrior off balance. The slight shift in his position exposed the warrior to Larra’s next move and her right leg kicked out, catching him on the inside of his thigh. With a cry of anguish the warrior stumbled forward, exposing his head to Larra’s full attack. The nunchuka whistled through the air in a deadly strike and then Larra felt an excruciating pain shoot through her left thigh. The intense pain threw her attack off so completely that the nunchuka struck the man’s shoulder with only half the intended force. “Uuunnnhh!” Larra cried out. It was all she could do to keep from collapsing into a defenseless heap on the ground. She reeled back, grasping at her leg. It had been impaled by a seven-foot spear. Through the haze of intense pain she saw the tall warrior leering brutally in the background. He had waited until she was occupied with the first two opponents and had hurled his spear at her with devastating effect. The spear-point had pierced the fleshy part of her inner left thigh and had emerged from the other side of her leg. Blood streamed from the deep wound as she seized the shaft of the spear, attempting to relieve some of the fierce pain that was shooting through her injured leg. Only her martial training enabled her to keep on fighting under such brutal conditions. But now her two opponents were upon her thrusting at her with the shafts of their spears. It was obvious that they intended to take her alive. Gritting her teeth, Larra attempted a retreat, but the situation was hopeless. At her first step her injured leg collapsed under her. A blow from a spear shaft numbed her right arm and she dropped her nunchukas. Then she was rudely grabbed by the two blacks and dragged from the bridge, still skewered by the spear. Larra saw black spots before her eyes. She was fast passing out. She made one last futile attempt to escape from her captors before pain and shock overwhelmed her senses.